On July 13, 20, and 27, the Cherokee One Feather conducted it first series of Tribal Council candidate debates. All candidates were invited to participate in the debate series. Public advertisements for the debate were published electronically beginning in mid-June. Certified letters were also sent to each candidate mid-June (addresses were provided by the Election Board – six of the 24 addresses proved to be undeliverable). Candidates were contacted or attempted to be contacted via phone numbers, also provided by the Election Board, one week prior to the candidate’s debate date.
I first would like to thank our staff and Editorial Board (Mickey Duvall, Sally Davis, and Scott McKie Brings Plenty). Providing this forum for candidates and community while continuing to produce a quality paper is a huge task. We make decisions as a team. The team knew this was the right thing to do for our communities. There was never a question or dissention regarding putting on the debates. Everyone was eager and looking forward to giving this to the community.
On behalf of the Editorial Board and Cherokee One Feather staff, I wish to express heartfelt thanks to each of those whose contributions lead to the successful completion of the Tribal Council candidate debates. It is through them that we could avail the community of much needed information at this critical juncture in our tribe’s history. Indeed, through their participation in this process, they became a part of history in the making.
Sabrina Arch, EBCI Enterprise Development Coordinator – Your youth and willingness to step outside the box gave a refreshing voice to the debates. Your voice was a much-appreciated break from the moderator duties.
Jason Kemmerer, EBCI Communication Division – Your diligence in ensuring the broadcasts and subsequent file viewing of the debates will ensure that they will be seen and taken into consideration by a wider audience.
Lisa Frady and Mariah Mahan, EBCI Destination Marketing -Time keeping for the candidates is an essential element in keeping the candidates on track and to ensure fairness. You both did a great job and holding them to their times.
Yona Wade, Cherokee Central Schools – You and your sound and lighting team did an outstanding job. Thank you for the use of your beautiful facility, the incredible set up, and for your team’s expertise.
Wayne Owle, Elrod Toinetta, and Mark Grant – Thank you for making sure everyone was hydrated by bringing bottled water for the staff and candidates.
Dike Sneed and the Cherokee Police Department – our appreciation to you and your officers for your assistance with the Tribal Council debates at the Joyce Dugan Center. The officers were courteous and helpful. Just their presence was a major support for the candidates, staff, and public who participated in the debates. You and your officers provided a safe environment for the debates to take place.
This is the first time we have attempted debates for tribal council. The candidates seemed to enjoy this format and the studio audience, while small in numbers, were very engaged and provided great and relevant questions. You may view each of the debates at https://ebci.com/live-streams/live-streams-archive/. Thank you to the community for participating and to those candidates who joined us for these historic events. I hope these insights into your candidates provide our tribal members with the information they need to make an informed decision in the upcoming Tribal Council election.
Cherokee One Feather Editor